Thomastik-Infeld can look back at a long history full of change. Even before the beginning of the First World War Dr. Franz Thomastik (luthier and Doctor of Philosophy) dealt with all raw materials for potential use in making strings. Starting in 1919 he did his systematic research into materials together with Otto Infeld, an engineer. The cooperation of the company founders first occurred as a joint effort of two single enterprises. The home of both companies was in shared premises in the 6th municipal district of Vienna. In 1921 the foundation of the joint company “Dr. Franz Thomastik and employees” followed.
Eventually Dr. Thomastik chose steel as material for the development of new strings. In the production of piano strings, there was already plenty of knowledge about steel wires which were struck by hammers. The major problem at that time was to make the steel wire usable for string instruments. Therefore, a specific processing technology was necessary. The advantages of this material lay in the resulting tuning stability, the imperviousness to climatic changes, as well as in its significantly longer lifespan. On the basis of the Austrian patent (No. 69060 – flat wire winding of Dr. Thomastik filed August 15th, 1914) and after many years of joint effort steel strings had been successfully manufactured. In 1926 strings of respectable quality were developed for all string instruments, from the violin to the contrabass.
A document dating from the year 1942 shows that at the beginning of the 1930s 50 percent of the production of strings was exported, and that Great Britain and the United States of America were the most important markets. The outbreak of the Second World War and the resulting destruction of the company through the numerous allied bombardments of the town disrupted the business. After the end of the war and the reconstruction, production was resumed in June 1946. In 1950 production levels reached those of the prewar period again.
Right from the beginning the red violin body with the curved initial „T“ was the defining logo of the company.